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Did Texas execute an innocent man? Film revisits a haunting question.

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Texans will have an opportunity to revisit a question that should haunt anyone who believes in the integrity of our criminal justice system: Did our state execute an innocent man? 
The new film “Trial by Fire” tells the true story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was sentenced to death for setting a fire to his home in Corsicana that killed his three young daughters in 1991. The film is based on an investigative story by David Grann that appeared in the New Yorker in 2009, five years after Willingham was executed over his vociferous protestations of innocence.
In my experience of serving 8 years on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and 4 years as a state district judge in Travis County, the Willingham case stands out to me for many of the same reasons it stood out to filmmaker Edward Zwick, who calls it a veritable catalogue of everything that’s wrong with the criminal justice system and, especially, the death penalty. False testimony, junk science, a jailhouse informant, and ineffe…

Abolish death penalty, Amnesty International urges Kenya

Kenyan flag
Amnesty International on Thursday praised Kenya for limits it has placed on use of the death penalty but urged it to join the 20 African countries that have abolished capital punishment altogether.

"Kenya has taken some progressive steps toward abolition," said Oluwatosin Popoola, Amnesty's lead advocate for eliminating the death penalty.

RULING


"But Kenya still has a way to go in reaching true abolition," Mr Popoola added in an interview.

His comments coincided with release of an Amnesty report on the status of the death penalty worldwide.

It hails sub-Saharan Africa as a "beacon of hope" in the global effort to end state-sponsored executions.

The report highlights the Kenyan Supreme Court ruling last December that found mandatory imposition of the death penalty to be unconstitutional.

But the court did not strike down the death penalty itself.

As a result, capital punishment remains lawful even though judges are no longer required to order it in cases of murder and armed robbery.

Kenya also has not executed any death-row inmates since 1987.

Source: nation.co.ke, April 12, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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